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A BASELINE SURVEY OF MINORITY CONCENTRATION

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					 A BASELINE SURVEY OF MINORITY
CONCENTRATION DISTRICTS OF INDIA



                       SIRSA
                     (Haryana)




                      Sponsored by
            Ministry of Minority Affairs
              Government of India
                        and
    Indian Council of Social Science Research




     INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
           NIDM Building, 3rd Floor, IIPA Campus
  I.P. Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110 002
     Phones – 2335 8166, 2332 1610 / Fax : 23765410
         Email: ihd@vsnl.com, website:ihdindia.org

                        2008
 A BASELINE SURVEY OF MINORITY
CONCENTRATION DISTRICTS OF INDIA




                       SIRSA

                     (Haryana)


                     Sponsored by
            Ministry of Minority Affairs
              Government of India
                        and
    Indian Council of Social Science Research




     INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
          NIDM Building, 3rd Floor, IIPA Campus
  I.P Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110 002
    Phones – 2335 8166, 2332 1610 / Fax : 23765410
        Email: ihd@vsnl.com, website:ihdindia.org
         RESEARCH TEAM


        Principal Researchers

           Alakh N. Sharma
           Ashok K. Pankaj

   Data Processing and Tabulation

         Balwant Singh Mehta
          Sunil Kumar Mishra
            Abhay Kumar


Research Associates/Field Supervisors

           Ramashray Singh
            Ashwani Kumar
            Subodh Kumar
             M. Poornima

         Research Assistant

             P.K. Mishra

       Secretarial Assistance

         Shri Prakash Sharma
             Nidhi Sharma
             Sindhu Joshi
            SIRSA


Principal Authors of the Report

    Balwant Singh Mehta
     Sunil Kumar Mishra
       Abhay Kumar
 Institute for Human Development
                                                       CONTENTS


Executive Summary ......................................................................................................i-ix

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................1-6

Brief Socio-economic Profile ............................................................................................. 1
Map of Sirsa ...................................................................................................................... 2
Methodology...................................................................................................................... 4

CHAPTER II: VILLAGE LEVEL DEFICITS ................................................................. 7-12

Educational facilities.......................................................................................................... 7
Health infrastructure.......................................................................................................... 8
Village connectivity.......................................................................................................... 10

CHAPTER III: SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS OF THE
HOUSEHOLDS/POPULATION ................................................................................. 13-33

Demographic Features.................................................................................................... 13
Quality of Human Resource ............................................................................................ 15
Assets Base of Households ............................................................................................ 21
Employment and Income ................................................................................................ 22
Housing and Other Asset Amenities ............................................................................... 27
Health and Family Welfare.............................................................................................. 29
Indebtedness................................................................................................................... 31

CHAPTER IV: DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES/DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAMMES......................................................................................................... 34-37

Public Distribution System .............................................................................................. 34
Access, use and Quality of Public health ........................................................................ 35
Awareness ...................................................................................................................... 36
Aspirations ...................................................................................................................... 37

CHAPTER V: KEY FINDINGS AND POLICY ISSUES ............................................ 38-47

ANNEXURE – I: List of Sample Selected Villages in Sirsa District ......................... 48
                                     LIST OF TABLES


Table 1.1: Population and Its Composition, 2001
Table 1.2: Rural Workforce Participation
Table 1.3: Criteria for Forming Hamlets
Table 2.1: School Status
Table 2.2: Educational Facilities, 2008
Table 2.3: Status of Health Infra-structure
Table 2.4: Access to Health Facility, 2008
Table 2.5: Access to Other Facilities, 2008
Table 2.6: Banking and Other Facilities
Table 3.1: Demographic Characteristics of Sample Households
Table 3.2: Age-Sex Distribution of Population
Table 3.3: Literacy Rates
Table 3.4: Enrolment Status of 6-16 Years Population
(a) Enrolled and Attending Schools
(b) Never Enrolled
(c) Drop Out
Table 3.5: Reasons for Dropout
Table 3.6: Educational Levels
Table 3.7: Educational Levels of Youth (15-25 Years)
Table 3.8: Government Assistance (%)
Table 3.9: Mean Value of Assets per Households (Rs.)
Table 3.10: Nature of Employment
Table 3.11: Workers by their Sector of Employment
Table 3.12: Average Per Capita Income and Expenditure (Rs.)
Table 3.13: Item-wise Per Capita Expenditure (Rs.)
Table 3.14: Type of Houses
Table 3.15: Number of Rooms per Household
Table 3.16: Drinking Water
Table 3.17: Place of Child Birth and Help Received
Table 3.18: Immunization Status of Children
Table 3.19: Incidence of Indebtedness and Average Debt
Table 3.20: Sources of Debt
Table 3.21: Purpose of Loans
Table 4.1: PDS Coverage
Table 4.2: Problems being faced with the PDS
Table 4.3: Level of Awareness of Government Programmes
Table 4.4: Aspirations of Respondents in Order of Their Ranks
                     Executive Summary of Sirsa District (Haryana)

  DEVELOPMENT GAPS AND PRIORITIES FOR THE MULTI-SECTOR
     DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF SIRSA DISTRICT OF HARYANA

Background:

   •   The Ministry of Minority Affairs (GOI) has identified 90 minority concentrated
       backward districts using eight indicators of socio-economic development and
       amenities based on the 2001 Census data. The purpose is to improve all these
       indicators and bring it to the all India level through a multi-sector development
       plan, under the Eleventh Five Year Plan. Since, it is expected that there must be
       changes in these indicators after 2001; a baseline survey has been conducted to
       formulate the multi-sectoral development plan with the latest deficits and
       priorities.

   •   Sirsa is one of the minority-concentrated districts of India which lags behind in terms of
       socio-economic indicators (Category B1).

District Profile (2001 census based):

   •   The total population of Sirsa district was 823184, of which 68.7 per cent lives in
       rural areas, which is lower than the State share of rural population. Hindus
       constitute 68.4 per cent of the population, while Sikhs,the notified minority community,
       formed 30.8 per cent. The district is characterized by the presence of a substantial number
       of a minority community, mainly Sikhs (30.8 per cent). SCs constitute 28.2 per cent and
       STs are virtually not found in the district.
   •   The literacy rate of the age group above age 6 years in district Sirsa was higher
       than the national and state average of 65 per cent and 61 per cent respectively and
       stood at 68 per cent in 2001. The male and female literacy was also higher than
       the national and state average and stood at 79 per cent and 56 per cent
       respectively. Gender differentials in literacy are noticeable across the tehsils.
   •   Work participation rate is modest (46.3 percent), which is slightly higher than the
       state average, and has improved significantly in the rural areas of the district.



                                                  i
    Significant differentials in work participation rate have been noticed across the
    tehsils of the district.
•   Nearly 73.6 per cent of the population was dependent on farming, of whom 45.6 per cent
    were cultivators and 28.2 per cent agricultural labourers. In the industrial sector,
    construction (19 per cent) followed by transportation (3 per cent), and hospitality (2 per
    cent) were the main employment providers. The contribution of the service sector was 8
    per cent.
•   Nearly 97 percent of the villages have primary schools,but the percentage of
    villages with middle schools is comparatively low.
•   Nearly 30 per cent of the villages have a PHC at a distance of 5 kms. and 13 and 14 per
    cent of villages had MCW and allopathic hospitals, respectively..
•   Rural accessibility and connectivity is relatively inadequate. Nearly three-fourth of the
    villages have bus stops within a distance of 5 kilometers. According to the Census 2001,
    96 percent of the villages in Sirsa had paved roads.
•   Nearly 60 per cent of the villages have post offices within a distance of 3.6 kms and 67
    per cent of the villages have public telephone facilities. Thus, more attention is needed to
    provide these facilities in the rural areas of the district.
•   Nearly cent per cent of the villages of Sirsa district are electrified. However, the power
    supply is very erratic and available for only 8 to 12 hours a day. Inadequate electricity is
    the major hindrance to the industrialization process in the district.
•   Nearly 87 percent villages have access to primary agricultural cooperatives (PACs). More
    than one-half of the villages have access to banking facilities within a distance of 4.8 km.
    Just 4 per cent of the villages have access to regular markets at an average distance of 14
    km. Nearly 27 per cent of the villages have a Mandi at a distance of 11.5 kms.
•   All the villages (cent per cent) were reported to have an Anganwadi. However, a
    comparatively smaller proportion of the households have received benefits from
    the ICDS centres.
•   Overall, the status of infrastructure development in the district is modest and
    inter-tehsil inequity is sharp, which needs to be bridged through various
    infrastructural development interventions.




                                                ii
Survey Findings (2008)

•   The present survey is confined to district Sirsa of Haryana state. The survey reveals
    that the district lagged behind in five out of eight indicators, when compared to the all
    India average. It has better status in health related indicators compared to the all India
    level. Table 1 below shows the gap between all India and district figures vis-à-vis ten
    indicators and prioritises the development interventions vis-à-vis eight indicators. The
    district figure is based on the survey findings (2008), while the all India figures are of
    2004-05 and 2005-06. The distance from the all India figures may be higher, as the all
    India data are a little old.

        Table 1: Development Gaps and Priorities for the Multi-Sector Development Plan

     Sl.                   Indicators                         Sirsa      All       Development         Development
     No.                                                      2008      India         Gaps             Priority of the
                                                                        2005       Between All            District
                                                                                    India and
                                                                                     District
                                                               (1)        (2)        (3=1-2)                 (4)
       1   Rate of literacy                                   58.42     67.3           -8.88                  2
       2   Rate of female literacy                            52.65     57.1           -4.45                  3
       3   Work participation rate                            37.61     38.0           -0.39                  5
       4   Female work participation rate                     18.66     21.5           -2.84                  4
       5   Percentage of households with                      89.76     59.4           30.36                  7
           pucca walls
       6   Percentage of households with safe                           87.9           -68.0                  1
           drinking water                                     19.90
       7   Percentage of households with                      83.02     67.9           15.12                  6
           electricity
       8   Percentage of households with                      85.98     39.2           46.78                  8
           water closet latrines
       9   Percentage of fully vaccinated                     90.0      43.5            46.5                  -
           children
      10   Percentage of child delivery in a                  41.0      38.7             2.3                  -
           health facility
        Note:    (1) Survey data of the district (Col. 1) pertains to the rural areas only, but all-India data (Col. 2 )
                pertain to total.
                (2) Data in Col 2 from Sl. Nos. 5 to 8 pertain to year 2005-06 are taken from NFHS-3 and the rest
                of the data in Col. 2 pertain to the year 2004-05 are taken from NSSO.

Development Priorities

Drinking Water Facilities:

Nearly 80 per cent of the households use drinking water from private sources, while 20
per cent of the households are depending upon public source. The dependence on private


                                                        iii
sources of drinking water by the rural poor households needs to be rectified by providing
tap water facilities by the government, for which necessary allocations must be made on a
priority basis.

Literacy Rate:

Overall literacy rate is low and stood at 58.42 per cent, which is lower than the
state and national average. Nearly 71 per cent of the children are enrolled in
government-run educational institutions. In rural areas, 16 percent of population is
educated (with educational levels of high school and above). Nearly 40 percent of the
students in the age group of 5-16 years are getting assistance in the form of books.
Midday meals are being provided to about 46.45 per cent of the students. Educational
assistance in the form of dress and scholarships are being provided to a very small
proportion of the students. The target of ‘education for all’ is still a distant dream and the
quality of education being imparted in schools needs to be improved on priority. Thus,
the gap in the process of human capital formation of communities as well as gender needs
to be bridged immediately, by following community as well as gender sensitive
educational programmes and schemes.

Female Literacy

Gender differentials in literacy are noticeable. Female literacy is low and stood at
52.65 per cent. The proportion of males and females with educational levels of high
school and above is 18.25 and 13.19, respectively. Male and female population with
technical education (both degree and diploma) is just 1.40 per cent and 1.54 per cent
respectively. The educational attainments of Sikhs is comparatively better than other
communities, but disparities are noticeable across the communities and genders. This
needs serious attention by educational planners and decision-makers, besides
making the community aware of the advantages of female education, as poor
female educational attainment hampers their future labour market prospects. Thus, there
is an urgent need to increase the participation of youth, including females, in higher and
technical education. To ensure equity in educational attainments, more scholarships need
to be given to poor but deserving female students.


                                             iv
Improving Work Participation

Work participation is reportedly a modest (37.61 per cent), which is low among Christian
households (2.47 per cent) and high among Muslim households (44.58 per cent). Gender
differentials in work participation are noticeable (53.22 per cent for males and 18.66 per
cent for females). This is more or less true across religious groups, except Christian
households wherein gender inequity in work participation is very sharp. Lower female
work participation is a serious issue which calls for appropriate policy interventions to
raise their contribution in economic activities, so that they can be empowered to play
their role within and outside the family in an effective way.

Self-employment in agriculture and allied activities is the dominant occupation (52 per
cent of households), followed by casual labour in non-agriculture (18 per cent of
households) and casual labour in agriculture (16.21 per cent of households). However,
there are significant variations in occupational status of the sample households across the
religious groups and genders. Significantly, more women are self-employed in agriculture
and allied activities across communities. None of the Christian women are engaged in
casual work, either in agriculture or non-agriculture. However, one-fourth of them are
regular salaried workers. In case of Muslim women, none of them is a regular salaried
worker. A small proportion household is self-employed in non-agricultural pursuits for
deriving livelihoods, except Christians. Overall, the high dependence on self-employment
in agriculture and allied activities, casual wage labour in agriculture and non-agriculture,
reflects the poor economic conditions of the households. This forces the women to work
outside the households in very precarious conditions at very low wages. Casual work in
non-agricultural activities is reportedly very low.Thus the government scheme of
NREGA needs to be implemented in a big way, so that these poor households may have
an opportunity to get assured employment of 100 man-days per household per annum.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the dominant activities wherein 68.51 per cent of the
households’ members are engaged. Given the seasonal nature of employment in
agriculture, forestry and fishing, there is need to implement more and more self-
employment schemes for the rural poor women so that they could be employed on a
sustainable basis, which would not only generate employment and supplement family


                                             v
earnings, but would also go a long way in empowering the women to play their part
within the family and society.

Electricity:

Nearly 83 per cent of the households have electricity connections, which needs to be
improved on priority. Electricity should be given due priority in development planning in
the district to speed up the process of agriculture and allied activities, including industrial
development. The Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Mission (RGREM) targets
universalisation of electricity connection to the rural households by the end of 2009.
However, since the progress appears nowhere near to the target, the RGREM needs to be
strengthened in the district.

In-house Toilet Facilities

Majority of the households (86 per cent) are defecating inside the house. Nearly 14 per
cent of households are defecating in the open, which is totally unhygienic. More than
one-fifths of Hindu and Muslim households and one-tenth of Sikh households are
defecating outside the home in the open. The condition of the drainage is also very
unsatisfactory in both Hindu and Sikh households. This needs to be checked by the
government providing in-house toilet assistance so as to improve the sanitary and
environmental conditions of the villages.

All this makes it clear that schemes like the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), a Centre
sponsored scheme, aiming at universalisation of sanitation facilities, which has been
going on for quite some time with the aim of achieving universalisation of sanitation
facilities by the end of 2009, has not made even a modest dent on rural sanitation. The
existing situation clearly indicates that the district would completely miss the target,
which calls for better implementation of the TSC and also to extend its coverage to
uncovered villages through the multi-sector development plan.




                                              vi
Houses with Pucca Walls

Nearly 2.69 per cent and 7.49 per cent of the households are living in thatched and kacha
houses respectively and 28 per cent and 62 per cent of them are living in semi-pucca and
pucca houses respectively. Comparatively, the housing conditions of Christian, Hindu
and Muslim households are not satisfactory, which reflects the poor economic conditions
of these households. Nearly 14 percent of the sample households are living in single
room accommodation. A significant proportion, 29.68 per cent and 56.06 per cent of
them respectively, have two rooms or more than two roomed accommodation, which
ensure privacy.

The number of houses constructed under IAY, which is not a universal programme, has
been quite insufficient to fill the gap in the district. Overall, the qualitative and
quantitative availability of housing is not satisfactory. This calls for vigorous
implementation of the IAY so as to include more and more beneficiaries under its ambit
and to extend the area of its coverage to include more and more poverty stricken
households under the scheme. IAY can be topped up with the multi-sectoral plan.

Improving Employability through Education and Skill Development

Given the seasonal nature of employment in agriculture and allied activities and the high
incidence of unemployment, a well-planned strategy is required to improve the livelihood
of the rural population of the district. The level of skill and training of new entrants to
the labour market needs to be improved through a need based area specific skill
development programmes by promoting vocational and other job oriented courses
through Industrial Training Institutes and other technical training institutes. This calls for
a comprehensive survey of the skills possessed by the unemployed youth and the training
needs in the growing industrial sector, including the self employed sector.

Educational attainments, particularly among youth and especially among females, is low
and a cause of worry. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase the participation of
population, particularly youth, in higher and technical education. This would require
imparting short duration job oriented courses in technical institutions to the rural youth,



                                             vii
besides providing free-ships and scholarships to needy youth from disadvantaged
communities and minorities.

Additional Areas of Intervention

•   Despite development of public health infrastructure in the recent past, there is a lack
    of adequate health care facilities for the rural poor population, which is due to heavy
    pressure of population on these basic services.          The situation with regard to
    availability of medicines, though it has gradually improved during the last few years,
    is the same. The availability of doctors, especially lady doctors at PHCs / hospitals is
    a major concern for the rural population. At the same time, the presence of quacks in
    villages has an adverse impact on the overall healthcare and behaviour of the people.
    They incur heavy expenditure on health without proper care. This needs to be
    corrected through awareness campaigns to educate rural poor people about their
    health care.

•   The dependence on untrained dais in child delivery assistance is high (63.38 per
    cent), which is more in Hindu (70 per cent) and Muslim households (59.26 per cent)
    than Muslim and Christian households. Nearly 9 per cent of the delivery of children is
    performed by trained midwife/ASHA, comparatively more in Christian households
    than other households. Those of the children born in institutional care have also
    received pre and post natal care, although the proportion of such children is
    comparatively low. Those children born in institutional care have also received pre
    and post natal care, although the proportion of such children is comparatively low.
    Keeping the above in view, there is an urgent need to extend the coverage of
    institutional deliveries of children so that better pre and post natal care be provided to
    them.

•   The dependence on private sources for medical treatment is significantly high (72.16
    per cent) as compared to government hospitals (16.8 per cent). Nearly 4 per cent of
    the households are in debt to meet medical expenditures, with the proportion of Hindu
    and Christian households raising debts to meet heath treatment expenditure is about 8
    and 7, respectively. This is attributed to the fact that medical services available at


                                             viii
    government hospitals are inadequate and poor in quality, which compels them to rely
    on private sources of medical treatment. Keeping this in view, there is an urgent need
    to strengthen the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) so that it may be able to
    meet the health needs of the poor rural households and curtail their dependency on
    private sources, which are costly in nature and are often beyond the reach of the poor
    households, forcing them into debt.

•   Nearly one-fourth of sample households are indebted. Nearly 45 per cent of Christian
    households followed by 27 per cent of Sikh, 20 per cent of Hindu and 13 per cent of
    Muslim households are in debt. Institutional sources of finance dominate the rural
    areas of the district. As there is need to improve the income levels of rural
    households, banks and financial institutions can play a major role by providing credit
    at cheaper rates without any collateral for undertaking productive self-employment to
    the rural poor.

•   Some of the poor households belonging to the BPL category do not have BPL cards,
    although they are getting BPL rations. A significant proportion of them are without
    BPL cards and not getting BPL rations. The huge difference in falling under BPL
    category and holding a BPL ration card and availing benefits from PDS is a matter of
    very serious concern. These gaps need to be plugged at the earliest, so that the poor
    get their due share, As this could also supplement the households’ nutrition. There is
    also need to rejuvenate the PDS to improve its working and performance.




                                            ix
                                         Chapter I

                                     INTRODUCTION


BRIEF SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE
On September 1, 1975, Sirsa and Dabwali tehsils were constituted into a separate Sirsa
district of Haryana state. The district is spread over 4277 sq km. It is divided into three
subdivisions and four tehsils, seven blocks, 325 villages and 321 village panchayats for
administrative purposes. District Sirsa lies at the extreme west corner of Haryana
between 29 degree 14 and 30 degree north latitude and 74 degree 29 and 75 degree 18
east longitudes. It is surrounded by the districts of Faridkot and Bathinda of Punjab in the
north and north east, Ganga Nagar district of Rajasthan in the west and south and Hisar
district in the east. It is a part of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plain and its terrain can be
broadly classified from north to south into three major types i.e. Haryana Plain, alluvial
bed of Ghaggar or Nali and Sand dune tract. The Haryana Plain covers over 65 per cent
and is a vast surface of flat to rolling terrain and extends southward to the northern
boundary of the alluvial bed of the Ghaggar.

The climate of the district is arid which is characterised by its dryness, high temperature
and scanty rainfall. The average annual rainfall is 32-53 mm only which is contributed by
both the south west monsoon and post-monsoon showers. There is no perennial river in
the district. Ghaggar is the only river which has abundant water during the rainy season
and sometimes causes water logging in many parts of this flat surface of impervious,
thick clay. At places, swamps support a high density of tall grass. Sand dune tracts cover
the southern most part of the district. Though, the river normally dries during the winters,
it helps to improve the quality and quantity of the ground water deposit in the region. A
large number of tube wells operate on both sides of the river. The quality of water in
Baraguda and Dabwali blocks is of poor quality and highly saline in nature. The Bhakra
Canal is the main source of irrigation in the district.

No important minerals are found in the district, except, shora (crude salt petre). There are
about 53 villages where salt petra bearing earth is available. The district is also devoid of



                                               1
forest resources. Sirsa is a leading producer of wheat, rice sugarcane and cotton. Nearly
90 per cent of the land in Sirsa is cultivable. The district is also known as “the cotton belt
of Haryana”. Sirsa is one of the districts with highest per capita income in Haryana and
also in the country..

                                       Map of Sirsa




Population and Its Composition
More than two-thirds of the population live in the rural areas of Sirsa district. More than
one-half of the population live in tehsil Sisra. The scheduled castes (SCs) constitute 28.2
per cent of the population and scheduled tribes (STs) are virtually not found in the
district. The district is characterized by the presence of a substantial number of minorities
namely Sikhs. Christians and Muslims..

Hindus constitute 68.4 per cent and Sikhs, the notified minority community, was 30.8 per
cent. Hindus also constitute the dominant population group in all the tehsils: highest in
Ellenabad (76.5 per cent) and lowest in Dabwali (57.4 per cent). Sikhs are the dominant
minority group across the tehsils of district Sirsa: 42.6 per cent in Dabwali and 31.7 per
cent in Rania, 28.3 per cent in Sirsa and 23.5 per cent in Ellenabad.




                                              2
                        Table 1.1: Population and Its Composition, 2001
 Tehsil                  Total          Rural %       %SC      % Hindu          % Sikh           %
                         population                            population      Population      Minority
                                                                                               populati
                                                                                                 on
 Dabwali                 181369           77.1     30.6                57.4             42.1      42.6
 Sirsa                   429918           69.8     27.8                71.6             27.3      28.3
 Rania                   131490           86.3     28.6                68.2             31.2      31.8
 Ellenabad                 80407          71.0     24.8                76.5             22.9      23.5
 Sirsa District          823184           68.7     28.2                68.4             30.8      31.6
 Haryana               15029260           71.1     21.4                87.0              5.9      13.0
Source: Calculated from Village Directory, Census of India, 2001

Literacy Levels
The literacy rate of the age group above age 6 years in district Sirsa was higher than the
national and state average of 65 per cent and 61 per cent respectively, standing at 68 per
cent in 2001. The male and female literacy rates were also higher than the national and
state average and stood at 79 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

Work Participation

According to the 2001 Census, nearly 43 per cent of the population belongs to age group
of 15-59 year in Sirsa. Work participation rate is 46.3 per cent: 57 per cent of males and
43 per cent for females, which is higher than the national as well as state average. Nearly
73.6 per cent of the population was dependent on farming: 45.6 per cent cultivators and
28.2 per cent agricultural labourers. In the industrial sector, construction (19 per cent)
followed by transportation (3 per cent), and hospitality (2 per cent) were the main
employment providers. The contribution of service sector was 8 per cent.

                                  Table 1.2: Rural Work Force Participation
                    Total Rural    Total                 %             % Agricultural   % Household    %
 Tehsil             Population     Worker        WPR     Cultivators   Labourers        industry       Others
 Dabwali              181369         83473        46.0         40.4             29.7             2.2      27.6
 Sirsa                429918        188207        43.8         48.8             29.4             2.1      19.8
 Rania                131490         64816        49.3         38.8             23.7             1.4      36.1
 Ellenabad             80407         45002        56.0         52.1             26.6             0.9      20.4
 Sirsa District       823184        381498        46.3         45.6             28.2             1.8      24.4
 Haryana            15029260       6451587        42.9         45.9             19.0             2.2      33.0
Source: Calculated from PCA, Census of India, 2001.




                                                         3
METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted in rural areas and, hence, all the figures and variables used
pertain to only rural areas and population. The Census 2001 data have been used for
sampling. Since the religion-wise population data are available only up to the Tehsil level
the stratification has been confined to that level.

First of all, all the tehsils of the districts were arranged in descending order on the basis
of minority population. In other words, they were arranged in such a manner that the
Tehsils with the highest concentration of minority population was placed at the top
position and Tehsils with the lowest concentration of minority population at the bottom.
Thereafter all the Tehsils were stratified into three strata: the first one consists of the
upper 20 per cent of Tehsils arranged according to population; the second consists of
the middle 50 per cent; and the bottom consists of the last 30 per cent. The selection of
villages has been done following the PPS (Probability Proportionate to Size) method. A
total of 30 villages (25 villages have been chosen in the districts having rural population
of less than 5 lakh) have been selected from all the three strata by the method of PPS.
The number of villages selected from each stratum depends on the ratio of the total
population of Tehsils to that stratum to the total population of the district. For example, if
the total population of all the Tehsils under a stratum constitutes 20 per cent of the total
population, then 6 villages have been selected from that stratum. It has also been
ensured that at least 6 villages are selected from each stratum.

In villages with less than 1200 population, all the households were listed first. However,
in case of villages having more than 1200 population, three or more hamlet-groups were
formed as per the practice followed by NSSO and then a sample of two hamlets was
selected. The hamlet with maximum concentration of minority population was selected
with probability one. From the remaining hamlets another one was selected randomly.
The listing and sampling of households were done separately in each hamlet.

In each selected hamlet, the listed households were grouped into strata as per the
minority status of the household. In other words, all Muslim households formed one
Second-Stage Stratum (SSS); all Buddhist households another SSS; and so on.

About 30 households were selected in all from each sample village for detailed survey.
These 30 households were chosen from 2 selected hamlets (if hg’s formed) and from
among the respective SSS in proportion to the total number of households listed in the



                                              4
respective frames. A minimum of 2 households were chosen to an ultimate SSS. The
required number of sample households from each SSS was selected by stratified
random sampling without replacement (SRSWOR). In case of a village having less than
30 households all the households were surveyed.

The rule followed by NSSO for forming hamlet-groups is as per the following:


                     Table 1.4: The Criteria for Forming Hamlets

  Approximate present population                  No. of hamlet- groups to be formed
  of the village

  1200 to 1799                                                    3
  1800 to 2399                                                    4
  2400 to 2999                                                    5
  3000 to 3599                                                    6
      …………..and so on

Multiplier Procedure
The district level estimate has been prepared using the technique of multilevel multiplier.
At the first stage, multiplier has been applied at the household level to estimate the
number of households of different religious communities in the village.
Formula:
         n
Yi = ∑ Ri
        i =1
Where R= (D/d)*(d/H)*(H/h)
D= Total households in the village
d=Total households listed in the village
H=Total selected sample households in the village
h=Total households selected from different religious groups
n= Number of religious group in the village

At the second stage, the village level multiplier has been applied to estimate population
data at stratum level (all tehsils in a district have been grouped into three strata for
sample selection).




                                              5
Formula:
           n      3
Y j = ∑ ∑ Yi S j
          i =1 j =1


Where S= ((SP)/ (M*VP))
SP= Total population of the strata
M=Total number of villages selected in the strata
VP=Population of the sample village
j=Number of stratum
n= Number of religious groups in the village
Finally at the third stage, stratum level multiplier has been used to estimate data at the
district level.
Formula:
           n      3
Yk = ∑∑ Y j Dk
          j =1 k =1

Where D= (DP/ (M*TP))
DP= Total population of district
M=Total number of selected Tehsil in the strata
TP=Population of selected Tehsil
k=number of stratum
n= number of religious groups in the village
Thus, district level data are estimate based on the survey.
Chapters: The introductory chapter explains some basic profile of the district. This
includes Tehsil-wise concentration of minority population and their demographic and
other characteristics based on the 2001 Census. Chapter II explains village level gaps in
terms of health and educational institutions and basic infrastructure. Chapter III explains
findings of the household survey that analyses demographic, educational, health,
economic and other deprivations. This part also explains demands and aspirations of the
households, their perception about the state and the nature of civic and community life.
Chapter IV analyses delivery of public services and some important development
programmes. And the last chapter sums up the findings.




                                               6
                                           Chapter II

                              VILLAGE LEVEL DEFICITS


Infrastructure development and human resource development are equally important in the
context of a region, failing which; we will not be able to support overall development
initiatives. Infrastructure development at the village level is also an indicator of the level
of access to various services and facilities. This chapter analyses the status of the
infrastructure availability in Sirsa district, based on the secondary data and information
gathered from the village schedules and the primary survey in the selected 30 villages.

Education Facilities
Nearly 97 per cent of the villages have a primary school; however, just more than one-
half of the villages have a middle school. The number of secondary schools stood at 106
and of them one-half is concentrated in tehsil Sirsa only. The status of technical
educational facilities in very poor and two tehsils namely Rania and Ellenabad are
deprived of such facilities,,due to higher concentration in teshil Sirsa. Similar is the
situation with other training schools. Thus, there is need to open more secondary schools
and ITIs in the district, which is necessary to speed up the industrialization process.

                                    Table 2.1: School Status
 Tehsil           %          %          No. of      Population   Number       Population    Number     Population
                  Village    Villages   Secondary      per       of               per       of             per
                  having     having     school      Secondary    industrial    industrial   training    training
                  primary    middle                  school      school          school     school       school
                  school     school


 Dabwali              97.1      50.7          22         8244            1        181369           3       60456
 Sirsa                96.6      50.0          53         8112            6         71653           6       71653
 Rania               100.0      58.7          15         8766            0    -                    0   -
 Ellenabad           100.0      50.0          16         5025            0    -                    1       80407
 Sirsa District       97.5      51.4         106         7766            7        117598          10       82318
 Haryana              92.6      51.1        2622         5732          166         90538         159       94524
Source: Calculated from Village Directory, Census of India, 2001


Over the period, there has been an improvement in the availability of schools. 97 percent
of the villages have primary schools within a distance of one kilometer. Forty four per
cent of the villages have a primary school for girls. Nearly 84 percent of the villages



                                                7
have a middle school within a distance 3 kilometers and 30 per cent of villages have
access to secondary schools within a distance of 6 kilometers. None of the villages have
a polytechnic. Only 4 per cent of the villages have an ITI. Thus, the educational facilities
including technical and vocational education, needs to be expanded in the rural areas of
the district, so that the youth could be employed in gainful economic activities.

                            Table 2.2: Educational Facilities, 2008
                                                                  Percent of            Mean
 Type of School                                              villages having         distance
 Primary School (Boys/Co-ed)                                            97.0              3.0
 Primary School (Girls)                                                 44.0              8.1
 Middle School (Boys/Co-ed)                                             84.0              5.4
 Middle School (Girls)                                                  30.0              7.7
 High/Higher Secondary School (Boys)                                    60.0              3.7
 High/Higher Secondary School (Girls)                                   40.0              6.9
 Inter College                                                          17.0             13.3
 ITI                                                                     4.0             28.4
 Polytechnic                                                             0.0             28.7
 Other Training School                                                  14.0             25.8
 Religious School                                                       24.0              2.0
*For villages not having such educational facilities

Nearly three-fourth of the schools had pucca buildings. On an average, 6 rooms and 5
teachers were reported in the schools and punctuality of the teachers is reportedly
modest. Proper sitting facilities are available in one-fifth of the schools. More than three-
fourths of the schools have provisioning of drinking water and toilet facilities. Thus,
educational infrastructural facilities need to be strengthened in the district on priority to
reduce the drop outs and improve the quality of education. Mid-day meals scheme is
functioning in the district modestly, which needs to be improved on priority so that the
goal of improving the nutritional status of rural poor school going children be achieved.
The monitoring and supervision of schools need to be strengthened to improve the level
of sincerity, punctuality, and discipline of the teachers.

Health Infrastructure
The status of health facilities is not satisfactory in rural areas of district Sirsa. Nearly 30
per cent of the villages have a PHC at a distance of 5 km. and 13 per cent and 14 per cent
of villages have MCW and allopathic hospitals, respectively. Comparatively, the health
facilities are very poor in Ellenabad. The proportion of population with tapped water


                                                  8
facility is low. A significant proportion of the households depend on tube wells and hand
pumps for meeting water requirements. It is ironical to note that quacks are dominating
the rural health scenario, which is a serious issue and needs to be curbed through better
awareness and campaigns on NRHM.

                            Table 2.3: Status of Health Infra-structure
 Tehsil              % Villages having     % Villages having      %Villages having     Allopathic hospital
                     PHCs within 5 km          MCW Centre        Allopathic hospital   per lakh population
                                                 within 5 km                 < 5 km
 Dabwali                          15.9                    7.2                  27.5                   0.6
 Sirsa                            41.5                  15.3                   11.4                   0.0
 Rania                            30.4                  21.7                   13.0                   0.0
 Ellenabad                          0.0                   0.0                   0.0                   0.0
 Sirsa District                   30.5                  13.1                   14.0                   0.1
 Haryana                          38.1                  27.7                   26.3                   0.1
Source: Calculated from Village Directory, Census of India, 2001

                          Table 2.4: Access to Health Facility, 2008
                                                               Percent of villages                 Mean
 Type                                                                      having               distance
 PHCs                                                                         17.0                   7.8
 Primary Health Sub Centre                                                    44.0                  10.9
 CHCs                                                                         10.0                  13.4
 Hospital/Dispensary                                                          17.0                  12.4
 Private Qualified Alopathic Doctors                                          24.0                  13.2
 Maternity Child care Centre                                                  10.0                  15.6
 Ayurvedic Hospitals                                                           7.0                  21.7
 Ayurvedic Doctors                                                             7.0                  22.4
 Homeopathic Hospitals                                                         0.0                  20.8
 Homeopathic Doctors                                                           0.0                  22.3
 Quacks                                                                       80.0                  17.0
 Family Planning Clinics                                                       7.0                  17.6
 Chemists/ Medicine Shops                                                     70.0                  13.6
*For villages not having such facilities


Overall, the rural health scenario in the district is not conducive due to the lack of
infrastructure, para-health professionals and poor awareness causing numerous problems
such as high incidence of mortality and morbidity, indebtedness to meet health care
expenditure, exploitation on the part of quacks etc. All this calls for strengthening and
deeper penetration of NRHM in the district with fresh vigour.




                                                   9
Village Connectivity
Rural accessibility and connectivity is relatively inadequate. Nearly three-fourth of the
villages have bus stops within a distance of 5 kilometers. According to Census 2001, 96
percent of the villages in Sirsa had paved roads. However, the existence of roads alone do
not ensure rural accessibility, as lack of transport services is also an issue. Ellenabad
tehsil has cent per cent road connectivity. Sisra has access to rail accessibility also.

Other infrastructural facilities available are the post office and public telephone
connections. Nearly 60 per cent of the villages have post offices within a distance of 3.6
km and 67 per cent of the villages have public telephone facility. Thus, more attention is
needed to provide these facilities in the rural areas of the district.

                            Table 2.5: Access to Other Facilities, 2008
                                                         Percent of villages   Mean distance*
 Type                                                                having               Km
 Block HQ                                                               7.0             14.8
 Nearest Town                                                           0.0             14.7
 Nearest Bus Stop                                                      74.0              3.1
 Nearest Regular Market                                                 4.0             14.2
 Nearest Railway Station                                                0.0             14.8
 Nearest Post Office                                                   60.0              3.6
 Public Telephone Connection                                           67.0              5.5
 Commercial Bank                                                       27.0              6.8
 Rural Bank                                                            10.0             10.7
 Cooperative Bank                                                      57.0              4.8
 Anganwadi Centre                                                    100.0               0.0
 GP Office                                                             97.0              2.0
 Fair Price Shop                                                       87.0              8.0
 Fertilizer Shop                                                       60.0              8.1
 Seed Storage                                                          24.0             11.7
 Pesticide Shop                                                        30.0             16.4
 Cold Storage                                                           4.0             23.8
 Other General Shop                                                    77.0             13.9
 Nearest Mandi                                                         27.0             11.6
 Milk Mandi                                                            84.0             14.8
 Veterinary                                                            87.0              6.3
*For villages not having such facilities
    Source: Primary Survey, 2008




                                                10
                                       Table 2.6: Banking and Other Facilities




                                                          agricultural co-operative
 Tehsil




                                                                                                                                        commercial bank within
                                                                                      operative bank within 5


                                                                                                                Co-operative bank per
                                                                                      % Villages having Co-




                                                                                                                                                                 Commercial bank per
                                                          societies within 5 km




                                                                                                                                                                                                              Percentage irrigated
                                                                                                                                                                                       Post office per lakh
                  % Villages having


                                      % Villages having


                                                          % Villages having




                                                                                                                                        % Villages having




                                                                                                                                                                                                              land to total land
                                                                                                                lakh population




                                                                                                                                                                 lakh population
                                      power supply
                  paved road




                                                                                                                                                                                       population
                                                                                                                                        5 km
                                                                                      km
 Dabwali           98.6                98.6                         87.0                    29.0                       2.8                       49.3                  6.6                16.5                   25.3
 Sirsa             94.9               100.0                         90.9                    26.7                       2.6                       48.3                  5.8                15.8                   27.2
 Rania             97.8                95.7                         69.6                    39.1                       3.8                       50.0                  6.1                15.2                   23.2
 Ellenabad        100.0               100.0                         93.3                    13.3                       0.0                       43.3                  3.7                13.7                   38.0
 Sirsa District    96.6                99.1                         87.2                    27.7                       2.6                       48.3                  5.8                15.7                   27.3
 Haryana           98.5                99.7                         77.7                    34.2                       1.8                       46.9                  4.4                16.4                   20.5


Nearly cent per cent of the villages of Sirsa district are electrified. However, the power
supply is very erratic and available for just 8 to 12 hours a day. Inadequate electricity is
the major hindrance to the industrialization process in the district.

Banking and financial institutionsm, Markets and Other Institutions
The main banking facilities available in the rural areas of Sirsa district are commercial
banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), cooperative banks and credit cooperatives. The
banking coverage in the district is better than the state average, except for Ellenabad
Tehsil. Lack of sufficient banking services have a direct impact on the formal credit
availability for agricultural and allied activities. Nearly 87 percent villages have access to
primary agricultural cooperatives (PACs). More than one-half of the villages have access
to banking facilities within a distance of 4.8 km.

Just 4 per cent of the villages have access to regular markets at an average distance of 14
km. Nearly 27 per cent of the villages have a Mandi at a distance of 11.5 kms. Shops for
agricultural inputs are available in a large proportion of the villages. On the whole,
marketing infrastructure available is very inadequate, which invite serious government
attention to improve the access to markets.

All the villages (cent per cent) were reported to have an Anganwadi. However,
comparatively a lesser proportion of the households have received benefits from the


                                                                                          11
ICDS centres. A majority of those who didn’t receive any benefit did not have any
eligible members in their households, who can avail the service of the ICDS. The
awareness about the ICDS is reportedly high in the sample villages.

Overall, the status of infrastructure development in district Sirsa is modest and inter-
tehsil inequity is sharp, which needs to be bridged through various infrastructural
development interventions. Besides, other development interventions needed for the
district includes education, health care, subsidized housing, employment generation, safe
drinking water, power, drainage, irrigation, and credit facilities.




                                              12
                                                       Chapter III

  SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS OF THE POPULATION/HOUSEHOLDS

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

Sikhs are the dominant population group (59.50 per cent), followed by Hindus (37.88 per
cent). Muslims, while the Christian population is negligible. The average household size
is 5.39 persons, lowest for Sikhs (5.33) and highest for Christians (6.70). The overall
dependency is reportedly high (1.44), which is comparatively highest among Sikhs (1.52)
and lowest among Christians (0.85). The average sex ratio is very low 824, which is
comparatively high for Muslims (1027) and very low for Christians (603). The high sex
ratio in Muslims reflects a comparatively better female status in the community, which
may be attributed to better educational status and women empowerment in the
community as compared to Christians, Sikhs and Hindus. The low sex ratio of Christians
reflects predominance of traditional practices and prejudices against women and
preference for sons in the community, which needs to be broken by providing more
education to the girls and empowering the women in the community (see table 3.1).

           Table 3.1: Demographic Characteristics of Sample Households Surveyed (%)
         Religion                    Sample       Average           Sex Dependency
                              population (%)      HH Size         Ratio          Ratio
         Hindu                         37.88          5.43          879           1.35
         Muslim                         1.54          5.69        1027            1.42
         Christian                      1.08          6.70          603           0.85
         Sikh                          59.50          5.33          795           1.52
         Total                        100.00          5.39          824           1.44

                            Table 3.2: Age-Sex Distribution of Population in %
Age       Hindu                      Muslim                     Christian                     Sikh                       All

 group    Male     Female   Total    Male     Female   Total    Male        Female   Total    Male     Female   Total    Male     Female   Total

0-4         9.92     8.65     9.33     5.13     0.00     2.86    24.14       13.04    19.23     8.56     6.33     7.55     9.32     7.43      8.46

5-14       23.47    23.19    23.34    35.90    38.71    37.14    17.24       17.39    17.31    22.76    17.97    20.59    23.23    20.78     22.11

15-24      20.83    21.20    21.00    25.64    19.35    22.86    10.34       30.43    19.23    20.06    20.48    20.25    20.40    20.92     20.64

25-29       7.44     6.46     6.98     0.00     3.23     1.43    20.69        8.70    15.38     6.17     7.91     6.96     6.84     7.16      6.98

30-44      18.60    21.48    19.94    15.38    25.81    20.00    13.79       17.39    15.38    20.22    22.81    21.39    19.31    22.16     20.61

45-59      11.07     9.89    10.52    15.38    12.90    14.29     6.90        4.35     5.77    10.88    12.48    11.60    10.99    11.15     11.06

60+         8.68     9.13     8.89     2.56     0.00     1.43     6.90        8.70     7.69    11.34    12.01    11.65     9.91    10.41     10.14

Total     100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00      100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00   100.00    100.00




                                                                13
Nearly 30 percent of the population is in the child age group of 0-14 years. This is more
or less the same in Sikh community. Other communities have high concentration in 0-14
years: Muslim (40 per cent), Christian (36.54 per cent) and Hindu (32.67 per cent). No
female child of Muslim households is found in the infant age group of 0-4 years, which
may be attributed to greater awareness about the small family norm and adoption of
family planning practices. Muslims and Hindus have a comparatively high proportion of
children in the school going age group compared to other communities. Therefore,
educational needs of these communities are higher when compared to Sikhs and
Christians. Gender inequity in child sex ratio is sharp across the communities; however, it
is sharper in Sikh households in case of school going age group and Muslim households
in case of early child age group of 0-4 years than other communities. Thus, while
Muslims have more male children than female in 0-4 years, which confirm the recently
adopted practice of son preference among the community, as the overall sex ratio is
favourable, which has been highlighted above. One-fifth of the population is in the age
group of 15-24 years. Christian females have a high (30.43 per cent) representation in this
youthful age group compared to low representation of males (10.34 per cent). This
implies that other communities supplied more male labour force and likely
unemployment is more in these communities, given the higher incidence of general
unemployment and current trend of slowdown in the economy. Gender inequity is
noticed in subsequent age groups too, but the gaps are not large. Nearly 10 percent of the
population is in the age group of more than 60 years. Gender inequity is small in this age
group except for Muslims. More Muslim men survive beyond 60 years and none of the
women in the sample households survive beyond 60 years. On the whole, a high
concentration of population in the child and youthful age groups, calls for rigorous
educational and manpower planning and opening of more technical and vocational
institutions as well as creation of more self-employment opportunities in agro-based and
service sectors, given the stagnant public sector and shrinking private industrial sector.




                                             14
QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCE

Literacy Rate

The literacy level of persons aged 7 years and above is higher among males than females
across religious groups (see table 3.3). Female literacy is lowest among Christians (nearly
half of the male) and highest among the Hindus (with a gap of one-tenth). Overall literacy
is highest among Christians followed by Sikhs. Overall, gender differentials in literacy
are noticeable, which needs attention by educational planners and decision-makers,
besides making the community aware of the advantages of educating.girls.

                              Table 3.3: Literacy Rates in %

 Sex                                  Hindu       Muslim Christian      Sikh    Total
 Male                                 63.02        61.85    82.82      71.48    68.57
 Female                               50.99        43.77    41.29      58.19    55.20
 Person                               57.29        52.56    63.89      65.36    62.33


Enrolment Status of Children

The enrolment status of children and adolescents in the age-group 5-16 years is presented
in table 3.4. Nearly 71 per cent of the children are enrolled in government-run
educational institutions. Gender equity is noticed in enrolment in government schools.
None of the Muslim female children are enrolled in private and informal schools. It
seems that SSA is making its presence felt in the rural areas of Sirsa district, which is
evident from the fact that a high proportion of children are enrolled in government
schools and a very small proportion of them are attending private schools. This also
reflects the poor socio-economic conditions of the households, which compels them to
depend on government schools for getting knowledge and education. However, the target
of ‘education for all’ is still a distant dream and the quality of education being imparted
in schools need to be improved on a priority basis. Thus, the gap in the process of human
capital formation, in the case of various communities as well as genders, needs to be
bridged on priority by following community as well as gender sensitive educational
programmes and schemes.




                                            15
                                         Table 3.4: Enrolment Status of 5-16 Years Population in %

                                                       (a) Enrolled and Attending Schools

Attending school            Hindu                       Muslim                          Christian           Sikh                             Total
                    Boys    Girls    Total     Boys      Girls      Total     Boys        Girls     Total   Boys    Girls   Total    Boys    Girls   Total
Going to govt
school              74.68   78.09    76.29     58.37     47.69      52.04     13.60      17.99      15.17   68.41   72.41   69.97    69.72   73.63   71.38
Going to private
school               6.77    5.43     6.14      1.90      0.00       0.77     86.40      77.02      83.03   13.69   16.39   14.74    12.11   11.97   12.05
Going to informal
institution         0.16    0.15     0.16      0.00      0.00         0.00       0.00     0.00      0.00     0.52    0.00   0.31     0.38    0.06    0.25
Total               100     100      100       100       100         100         100      100       100      100     100    100      100     100     100



                                                                 (b) Never Enrolled in %
                       Never enrolled                  Hindu                 Muslim                 Christian       Sikh     Total
                          Boys                              15.88                 37.83                     0.00    10.68    12.68
                           Girls                             7.77                 41.40                     4.99    7.62     8.51
                           Both                             12.04                 39.95                     1.79    9.48     10.91

                                                                    (c) Drop out in %
                                    Drop out                      Hindu                 Muslim          Sikh        Total
                                     Boys                                 2.25                     1.27 5.69        4.37
                                     Girls                                5.86                    10.91 2.57        4.14
                                     Both                                 3.96                     6.98 4.47        4.27




                                                                             16
The data on the incidence of non-enrolment as well as drop out rate is given in tables 3.4b
and 3.4c. The proportion of children who have never enrolled is low (one-tenth), but this
is a cause of concern and calls for a more vigorous campaign for SSA. In the case of
Muslims, 41 percent of girls are reportedly never enrolled in the schooling system. The
drop out is also comparatively high in Muslim girls (11 per cent). The overall drop out is
low (4.27 per cent), which provide a little relief, but still needs to be checked. Thus,
government needs to speed up efforts to ensure cent percent enrollment of children in the
school going age group with zero drop outs. This would be possible by improving the
quality of education and expanding the physical infrastructure.

Reasons for Dropout

Although the enrollment and retention rates in the sample villages are high, an attempt
has also been made to find out the reasons for drop outs, although the percentage is very
low. The main reasons cited for dropping out are ‘work at home’ (35.59 per cent)
followed by ‘not interested in reading’ (27.82 percent), ‘need to earn’ (14.45 percent) and
‘fee or educational expenditure not affordable’ (9.50 per cent) (see table 3.5). It is
significant to note that all the children of Christian households were enrolled in schools
and drop outs among them was nil.

                           Table 3.5: Reasons for Dropout in (%)

    Reasons                                      Hindu    Muslim        Sikh        All
    Work at home                                  41.46      0.00     32.49      35.59
    Need to Earn                                  15.50      3.56     14.06      14.45
    School Far distance                            0.00      0.00     14.29       7.99
    Lack of facility in school                     0.24      0.00      4.93       2.85
    Teacher beating                                2.13      0.00      0.00       0.90
    Teacher do not teach                           0.24      0.00      0.00       0.10
    Failed in exam                                 1.91      0.00      0.00       0.80
    Fee or expenditure not afford                  7.63      0.00     11.26       9.50
    Not interesting in reading                    30.90     96.44     22.96      27.82
    All                                          100.00    100.00    100.00     100.00


Keeping in view the lack of interest shown by the children in reading, the elementary
education should be made interesting for the pupils and teachers should be trained to



                                            17
motivate and retain them in the school system. Besides, due to high incidence of poverty,
child labour is rampant in the sample households. Thus, there is need to create awareness
among the parents about the benefits of education and livelihood opportunities need to be
provided to the rural poor to eliminate the incidence of child labour.

Educational Levels

The educational status of the sample households is modest. In rural areas of Sirsa district,
16 per cent of population is educated (with educational levels of high school and above).
The proportion of males and females with educational levels of high school and above is
respectively 18.25 and 13.19. Male and female population with technical education (both
degree and diploma) is just 1.40 per cent and 1.54 per cent respectively (Table 3.6). The
educational attainments of Sikhs is comparatively better than other communities. It is
ironical to note that none of the Muslim male and female households’ members are
educated up to high school and above. Similarly, none of Christian women are educated
up to high school and above, which may be due to the small size of the sample.
Comparatively, Sikh males and females have better educational attainments, whereas
Hindus have lower educational attainments. Disparities are noticeable across
communities and genders in educational attainments at various levels. This needs to be
plugged to ensure equity for which scholarships may be given to poor but deserving
students from rural areas. Concrete steps need to be taken to increase the enrollment of
the population beyond high school in general, and technical institutes, in particular.

                                   Table 3.6: Educational Levels

      Level of education                       Hindu        Christian    Sikh           Total
                                            Male
      Educated (High School and above)              15.09        11.62          20.51    18.25
      Degree and above                               1.41         0.00           0.64     0.90
      Technical degree/ diploma                      1.57         0.00           1.37     1.40
                                           Female
      Educated (High School and above)               8.80         0.00          16.47    13.19
      Degree and above                               0.63         0.00           1.36     1.06
      Technical degree/ diploma                      0.14         0.00           2.48     1.54
                                           Person
      Educated (High School and above)              12.15         7.25          18.72    15.97
      Degree and above                               1.05         0.00           0.96     0.97
      Technical degree/ diploma                      0.90         0.00           1.86     1.46




                                             18
Educational Levels of Youth

The educational status of youth is presented in table 3.7. The data clearly reveals that
14.35 percent of them are illiterate. Significant differentials in literacy is noticed. The
proportion of illiterate youth ranges from 10 per cent to 44 per cent in Sikh and Christian
households respectively. A very small proportion of the rural youth are educated below
primary or informal level and 18.69 per cent and 21.92 percent of them have education
up to primary level and middle level respectively. More than two-thirds, one-third and
nearly one-fifth of the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh youth respectively have education up
to middle level. One-fourth of the youth have educational attainment up to secondary
level. None of the Muslim youth in the age group of 15-25 years is educated up to
secondary level. Nearly 9 per cent of the youth have educational attainments up to higher
secondary level. The educational attainment up to graduation and post graduation
including technical education is very poor and it is virtually nil among Muslim and
Christian youth. Muslim and Christian youth have lower educational attainments at
various levels compared with youth of other two communities. Due to lower educational
attainment, including vocational and technical education, rural youth of Sirsa district
have lesser prospects in the labour market.

                 Table 3.7: Educational Levels of Youth (15-25 Years) in %

Educational category                                 Hindu Muslim Christian Sikhs  Total
Illiterate                                            20.16 16.77    44.22 10.37 14.35
Below primary or informal education                    9.44  3.59     0.00    5.23   6.68
Primary                                               15.96 67.64    39.56 19.04 18.69
Middle                                                23.25 12.00    10.83 21.52 21.92
Management or commercial school course                 0.42  0.00     0.00    0.17   0.26
(vocational)
Secondary                                             21.18     0.00     5.39 28.51 25.29
Higher Secondary                                       6.23     0.00     0.00 10.63    8.80
Technical diploma or certificate below degree          1.83     0.00     0.00   2.85   2.42
Graduate degree                                        1.26     0.00     0.00   1.54   1.40
Post-graduate degree                                   0.28     0.00     0.00   0.14   0.19
Total                                                100.00   100.00   100.00 100.00 100.00


In general, educational attainments, particularly among youth and among females, is low
and needs improvement. Poor educational attainment hampers their future labour market


                                                19
prospects. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase the participation of the youth, in
higher and technical education. This would also require imparting short duration job
oriented courses in technical institutions to the rural youth, besides providing free-ships
and scholarships to needy youth from disadvantaged groups and minorities.

Per Capita Expenditure on Education
The average per capita expenditure on education is low (Rs. 812), however, minor
differentials exist among communities. For example, Muslim households are expending
comparatively less on education (Rs. 151) than Hindu, Christian and Sikh households.
Comparatively Sikh and Hindu households are spending more on education. However,
due to poverty the average expenditure on education by sample households is lower
compared to their urban counterparts. Thus, the SSA needs to be strengthened in the
district and its coverage extended, which may provide some relief to the rural poor in
providing basic education.

Government Assistance
The government is providing assistance in the form of books, dress, scholarships, mid-
day meal, etc. to students for universal enrolment and retention in the educational system.
Scholarships are given to students belonging to minority groups of population under a
special scheme in every state. However, this scheme is not effectively implemented in
the district. Nearly 40 percent of the students in the age group of 5-16 years are getting
assistance in the form of books. Midday meals are being provided to about 46.45 per cent
of the students (see table 3.8).Educational assistance in the form of dress and scholarships
are being provided to a very small proportion of the students. In order to increase
enrolment and retention of students, there is need to enhance the quantum of educational
assistance in the district. Poor and deserving students must be provided with scholarships
and dress assistance. There is need to operationalise free elementary education among the
rural poor of the district to ease the economic burden on the parents.




                                            20
                           Table 3.8: Government Assistance (%)

  Type of assistance                                Religion

                                      Hindu     Muslim   Christian     Sikh     Total
 Books                                 30.74     97.05       0.00     48.44     40.50
 Dress                                  4.49      0.00       0.00     10.02      7.45
 Scholarship                           22.06      0.00     100.00     19.39     20.74
 Midday meal                           52.16    100.00       0.00     41.48     46.45
 Others                                 0.00      0.00       0.00      0.11      0.06
 Total                                100.00    100.00    100.00     100.00    100.00
 % of students receiving assistance    12.17      3.71       1.87      8.61      9.76

ASSETS BASE OF HOUSEHOLDS
Land

Landlessness is a common feature among rural households of Sirsa district. Nearly 55 per
cent of the sample households are landless. Ironically, landlessness is more among the
Muslims (cent per cent) and Christians (96.95 per cent) as compared to Sikhs (42.94 per
cent) and Hindus (73.39 per cent). The average size of landholding is comparatively more
in Sikh households than Hindu and Christian households. Thus, landlessness and the
small size of landholdings possessed by sample households not only reduces their
livelihood options, but also makes them vulnerable by working on low wage levels,
which traps the landless households into poverty.

Livestock
The per capita value of livestock owned by the sample households stood at Rs. 28631,
which is comparatively very low in the case of Christians (Rs. 3216) as compared to
Muslims (Rs. 20081), Hindus (Rs. 19205) and Sikhs (Rs. 35315). On the whole, the
quality of livestock possessed by Christian households also seems to be poor, given the
lower value of livestock. Increased possession of livestock by rural households provide
them with draught power as well as milch animals, meat and other products, depending
upon the types of livestock owned and maintained. Thus, in order to improve their
livelihood conditions, including nutritional standards, livestock and dairy development
programmes need to be strengthened.




                                           21
Productive Assets
The mean value of productive assets possessed by the sample households is quite high
(see table 3.9). Christian households have a comparatively low value of productive assets
per household (Rs. 6578). The productive assets possessed by Sikh households are
comparatively higher and stood at Rs. 188244, which is many times higher than
productive assets possessed by other households.


                  Table 3.9: Mean Value of Assets per Households (Rs.)

         Type of household         Productive other than land     Modern household
    Hindu                                             75,884              119,441
    Muslim                                            98,960              136,833
    Christian1                                          6,578               18,959
    Sikh                                             188,244              191,987
    Total                                            142,344                61,787

Other Assets

Sikh households have more modern assets too. Christian households possessed
comparatively less modern household assets. The mean value of assets possessed by
Christian households stood at Rs. 18959 (see table 3.9). Thus, possession of lower
productive and modern household assets reflects the poor socio-economic conditions of
the households.

EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

Work Participation

Work participation is reportedly modest (37.61 per cent), and is lower among Christian
households (2.47 per cent) and high among Muslim households (44.58 per cent). Gender
differentials in work participation are noticeable (53.22 per cent for males and 18.66 per
cent for females). This is more or less true across the religious groups, except Christian
households, wherein gender inequity in work participation is very sharp. Nearly 5 per
cent of the Christian women participate in work force. Overall, low work participation is
reported across communities, which needs to be improved by providing work
opportunities through NREGA. Low female work participation is also a serious issue,



                                           22
which calls for appropriate policy interventions to raise their contribution in economic
activities, so that they are empowered and can play their role within and outside the
family in an effective way.

Nature of Employment

The occupational status of the members of sample households is presented in table 3.10.
A perusal of the table makes it evident that self-employment in agriculture and allied
activities is the dominant occupation (52 per cent of households), followed by casual
labour in non-agriculture (18 per cent of households) and casual labour in agriculture
(16.21 per cent of households. However, there are significant variations in occupational
status of the sample households across religious groups and genders. Significantly, more
women are self-employed in agriculture and allied activities across communities. None of
the Christian women are engaged in casual work in agriculture or non-agriculture, since
one-fourth of them are regular salaried workers. In the case of Muslim women, none of
them is a regular salaried worker. A small proportion of households are self-employed in
non-agricultural pursuits for deriving livelihoods, except for Christians. Overall, the high
dependence on self-employment in agriculture and allied activities, casual wage labour in
agriculture and non-agriculture reflects the poor economic conditions of the households.




                                            23
                                                       Table 3.10: Nature of Employment in %

                                  Hindu                      Muslim                 Christian                    Sikh                    Total
Employment Status         Male    Female   Total   Male    Female Total     Male     Female     Total   Male    Female   Total   Male     Female    Total
Self employed             30.31    71.04   38.98    9.82    69.95 30.70      4.10     73.92      9.16   56.47    74.62   60.65   45.90      73.31   52.05
in agriculture
and allied activities
 Self-employed in          5.03     0.22    4.00   13.33     0.00    8.70    0.00       0.00     0.00    4.24     3.17    3.99    4.58      2.09     4.02
non-agricultural sector
Regular salaried           9.37     4.27    8.29   13.35     0.00    8.71   58.10      26.08    55.78   10.64     4.60    9.25   10.73      4.46     9.33
Casual wage labour        24.08    13.86   21.90   53.40    12.27   39.11    5.74       0.00     5.33   13.76     8.78   12.61   17.84     10.55    16.21
in agriculture
Casual wage labour in     31.22    10.61   26.83   10.11    17.78   12.77   32.05       0.00    29.73   14.90     8.83   13.50   20.95      9.59    18.40
non-agriculture
Total                      100      100     100     100      100     100     100         100     100     100      100     100     100        100     100




                                                                            24
All this forces poor women to work outside the households in very precarious conditions
at very low wages. The participation in casual work in agricultural and non-agricultural
activities is reportedly significant (one-third). Thus, the government scheme of NREGA
needs to be implemented in a big way so that these poor households may have an
opportunity to get assured employment of 100 man-days per household per annum.
Besides, the self-employment scheme of SGSY needs to be implemented more in the
district, so that the poor households may earn a sustainable living. Besides it may also
empower them socially and politically, as the programme is being operationalised
through SHGs.
Sector of Employment
The industry-wise distribution of main workers in sample villages across the selected
religious groups is given in table 3.11. Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the dominant
activities in which 68.51 per cent of the households’ members are engaged. About 17.39
percent of them are engaged in construction related activities. A very small proportion of
the households are engaged in manufacturing, trade, hotel and restaurants, mining and
quarrying, transport and communication, finance, real estate and business, and public
administration, education, health and other sectors. Given the seasonal nature of
employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing, there is need to implement more self-
employment schemes like SGSY for the rural poor so that they could be employed on a
sustainable basis, which would not only generate employment and supplement family
earnings, but would go a long way in empowering women to play their role within the
family and society.

                   Table 3.11: Workers by their Sector of Employment in %
 Sector                                       Hindu    Muslim   Christian     Sikh    Total
 Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing              61.03     69.81      14.49     73.59    68.51
 Mining & Quarrying                             0.10     0.00        0.00     0.00     0.03
 Manufacturing                                  3.52     0.00        0.00     2.50     2.81
 Electricity, Gas & Water                       0.67     1.90        0.00     0.37     0.49
 Construction                                 25.16     12.60      25.95     12.88    17.39
 Trade, Hotels & Restaurants                    2.46     0.00        0.00     0.99     1.49
 Transport, Storage & Communication             1.55     8.53      50.11      4.54     3.94
 Finance, Real Estate & Business                0.38     0.18        0.00     0.34     0.35
 Public Administration, Education, Health &     5.13     6.99       9.45      4.78     4.98
 Others
 Total                                        100.00   100.00     100.00    100.00   100.00




                                                25
The low proportion of workers engaged in modern sector of employment is mainly due to
lack of infrastructure for industrial development. A large proportion of the population of
the district is deriving their livelihoods from agriculture and allied activities, which is
responsible for their poverty and deprivation. There is lack of required trained and skilled
manpower in the district, which needs to be attended on priority by opening more
industrial training institutes and other technical institutes. This would facilitate locally
trained and skilled manpower in getting employment in the industrial sector.

Unemployment and Search for Additional Employment
Unemployment and underemployment is quite alarming among the communities, with
the search of additional employment for augmenting households’ income and status being
very high. However, due to lack of training and skills, their employability is
comparatively low. Thus, their skill needs to be improved through short term vocational
and job-oriented courses.

Income and Expenditure

The per capita income and expenditure reveals that the rural economy of Sirsa is a
surplus one, in which there have been significant gaps in income and expenditure.
However, the gaps in income and expenditure in Sikh households is more than other
households (see table 3.12). Higher income is reported in those households which have
more physical and human capital. Significant differentials are noticed in income-
expenditure across the communities. On the whole, a high proportion of poor households
are deriving their livelihood on a day to day basis by being self-employed in agriculture
and allied activities and as casual labour in the agriculture sector. This affords them a
mere hand-to-mouth existence.

              Table 3.12 : Average Per Capita Income and Expenditure (Rs.)

       Income/Expenditure           Hindu     Muslim     Christian    Sikh     Total

       Expenditure (Rs.)            9769         6799       7218     16879 14050
       Income (Rs.)                15907         7744       7337     33249 26250
       Income-expenditure ratio      1.62         1.14       1.01      1.96  1.86




                                            26
The data related to household expenditure by various sources is shown in table 3.13.
Food is the dominant source of household expenditure, followed by other items, social
ceremonies, education and health. As the per capita income of the majority of the sample
households is low, it is not surprising that the per capita expenditure is also low.
However, one can notice that even at a very low level of income per capita, there is a
tendency on the part of the sample households to save something, which is clear from the
difference between the per capita income and expenditure, although the figure is not very
significant.
                       Table 3.13: Item-wise Per Capita Expenditure (Rs.)

        Item                     Hindu    Muslim Christian         Sikh      Total
        Food                      4183      4444     4498          5607      5061
        Education                  570       151      284           980       812
        Health                     524       222        47          953       776
        Social Ceremonies         1017       572      310          2735      2053
        Interest payment           552       153         0          810       697
        Other                     2925      1257     2079          5795      4651
        Total                     9769      6799     7218         16879     14050


The situation of the households can be mitigated to an extent with the government
providing better basic health and educational facilities. This would reduce the poor
households’ dependence on private services, which took away part of their expenditure,
which could be utilized for meeting other basic needs of the households.

HOUSING AND OTHER BASIC AMENITIES

Type of Housing
The housing status of the sample households is presented in table 3.14, which reveals that
2.69 per cent and 7.49 per cent of the households are living in thatched and kacha houses
respectively. Nearly 28 per cent and 62 per cent of them are living in semi-pucca and
pucca houses respectively.The housing conditions of Christian, Hindu and Muslim
households are not satisfactory, which reflects the poor economic conditions of these
households.




                                           27
                              Table 3.14: Type of Houses in %

       Type of house            Hindu    Muslim     Christian       Sikh         Total
       Thatched                  2.78     11.45         0.00        2.54         2.69
       Katcha                   13.15     11.88       41.32         3.55         7.49
       Semi Pucca               36.90     34.28       47.15        22.52        28.04
       Pucca                    47.08     42.38       11.53        71.33        61.72
       Others                    0.09      0.00         0.00        0.06         0.07
       Total                      100       100          100         100          100


Nearly 14 percent of the sample households are living in single room accommodation. A
significant proportion, 29.68 per cent and 56.06 per cent of them, respectively, have two room
and more than two roomed accommodation (see table 3.15). A high proportion of Sikh
households are living in more than two roomed accommodation, which ensures privacy. On the
whole, housing conditions of these households is not satisfactory and calls for urgent
attention by the government. The IAY needs to be implemented with fresh vigour in the
district, in order to improve the housing conditions of poor households.

                Table 3.15: Houses and Community Wise distribution in %

       Number of rooms          Hindu   Muslim        Christian      Sikh       Total
       Single Room                24.35    0.00           6.01       8.95      14.26
       Two Room                  32.96   58.67          49.83       27.00      29.68
       More than two room        42.69   41.33          44.15       64.06      56.06
        Total                   100.00 100.00          100.00      100.00     100.00


Drinking Water

The condition of the drinking water facilities in the district is not at all satisfactory..
Nearly 80 per cent of the households use drinking water from private sources, while 20
per cent of the households depend upon public sources (see table 3.16). The high
dependence on private sources of drinking water by the rural poor households is a serious
concern, which needs to be rectified by providing tap water facilities by the government.
Necessary allocations for this must be made on a priority basis.




                                             28
                              Table 3.16: Drinking Water in %

               Source        Hindu        Muslim Christian Sikh          Total
               Public        29.25         35.68     6.01 14.58         19.90
               Private       70.56         47.72    93.99 85.31         79.80
               Others         0.20         16.60     0.00  0.06          0.27


Toilets

A majority of the households (86 per cent) are defecating inside the house. Nearly 14 per
cent of households are defecating in open, which is totally unhygienic. More than one-
fifths each of Hindu and Muslim households and one-tenth of Sikh households are
defecating outside the home in open. The condition of the drainage is also reportedly very
unsatisfactory in Hindu and Sikh households. The practice of open defecating needs to be
checked by providing in-house toilet assistance by the government. This would help to
improve sanitary and environmental conditions in the villages.

HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE

The data and information on health and family welfare is provided in the following
paragraphs, which reveals more or less satisfactory conditions. The utilization of health
care facilities by the households depend on the knowledge and awareness about the
existence of these facilities, for which field workers needs to be trained to motivate and
make the rural poor aware of better health status.

Place of Child Birth

Two-thirds of the last children born in sample households was at home. However, there
are significant variations across the communities. For example, a high proportion of
children of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim households were born at home as compared to 25
per cent, 44 per cent and 27 per cent of the births in government and private hospitals
respectively. None of the children of Christian households was born in institutional care.
Thus, the system of institutional deliveries is very poor (see table 3.17).




                                             29
Assistance in Child Birth

The dependence on untrained dais in child delivery assistance is high (63.38 per cent),
which is more in Hindu (70 per cent) and Muslim households (59.26 per cent) than
Muslim and Christian households. Nearly 9 per cent of the delivery of children is
performed by trained midwife/ASHA, comparatively more in Christian households than
other households. Those children born in institutional care have also received pre and
post natal care, although the proportion of such children is comparatively low. Keeping
the above in view, there is an urgent need to extend the coverage of institutional
deliveries of children, so that better pre and post natal care be provided to them.

                  Table 3.17: Place of Child Birth and Help Received in %

                                        Hindu    Muslim     Christian   Sikh       Total

                                         Place
         Govt hospital                     2.88     12.78        0.00    12.73            8.27
         Private hospital                25.26      44.93        0.00    27.35           26.25
         At Home                         71.86      42.30      100.00    59.92           65.49
                             Help in child delivery
         Doctor                          19.56      56.71        0.00    34.32           27.60
         Trained Dai                       9.70      0.99       86.53     6.42            9.02
         Untrained Dai                   70.73      42.30       13.47    59.26           63.38



Immunization

The data relating to the status of immunization of children against Polio, DPT and BCG show
encouraging results. Almost all children have been given Polio drops. Similarly, almost all
children below the age of 5 years have been vaccinated against at least one type of
disease. However, the proportion of children fully immunized is comparatively lower
(39.70 per cent) (see table 3.18). Thus, NRHM needs to be strengthened in the district for
which more allocations must be made on a priority basis, so as to extend the outreach and
coverage of the programme.

                      Table 3.18: Immunization Status of Children in %

              Immunization           Hindu      Muslim Christian Sikh          Total

              Any Type of doze        96.72     100.00      100.00 97.20         97.09
              Fully Immunized         33.16      11.78       95.19 42.77         39.70


                                                30
Morbidity

Fever, pain in the stomach, chicken pox, cough and cold, and typhoid are the most
common health problems faced by sample households. Nearly 18 per cent and 8 per cent
of the sample households respectively, suffered from fever and stomach pain. Similarly,
7.22 per cent, 6.66 percent and 4.65 per cent of them have suffered from typhoid,
arthritis,malaria and cough and cold respectively. Christian households have suffered
more due to other diseases. Fever and arthritis is more common in Hindu and Sikh
households than other communities. Similarly, Muslim households suffered more due to
typhoid fever and cough and cold. On an average, Rs. 776 has been incurred per
household on meeting health related expenditure, comparatively more by Sikh and Hindu
households (Rs. 953 and Rs. 524 respectively) than Muslim (Rs. 222) and Christian
households (Rs. 47). Surprisingly, Christian households reported very little expense
incurred on meeting health needs than other households.

On the whole, the dependence on private sources for medical treatment is significantly
high (72.16 per cent) as compared to government hospitals (16.8 per cent). Nearly 4 per
cent of the households are in debt to meet medical expenditures, with the proportion of
Hindu and Christian households raising debt to meet heath treatment expenditure is about
8 and 7. This is attributed to the fact that medical services available at government
hospitals are inadequate and poor in quality, which compels them to rely on private
sources of medical treatment. Keeping the above in view, there is an urgent need to
strengthen the National Rural Health Mission in a big way, so that it may be able to meet
the health needs of the poor rural households. This would curtail their dependency on
private sources which are costly in nature and most of the time are beyond the reach of
the poor households, thus forcing them into debt.

INDEBTEDNESS

Incidence of Indebtedness

Nearly one-fourth of sample households are indebted. Nearly 45 per cent of Christian
households followed by 27 per cent of Sikh, 20 per cent of Hindu and 13 per cent of
Muslim households are in debt (see table 3.19). The average amount of loan raised is low



                                           31
(Rs. 19438). Sikh and Christian households are more indebted (Rs. 24130 and Rs. 22467
respectively) than Hindu (Rs. 12495) and Muslim (Rs. 6790).

                     Table 3.19: Incidence of Indebtedness and Average Debt

   Indebtedness                 Hindu    Muslim       Christian         Sikh    Total
   Average (Rs.)                  12495     6790        22467         24130    19438
   % Indebted households           20.02   13.36        44.93         27.12    24.41


Source of Debt

Institutional sources of finance dominate the rural areas of the district. Cooperative
banks/societies and commercial and Gramin banks are playing a significant role in
providing credit to the rural poor, with their combined share standing at about 62 per
cent. The dependence on friends/relatives and landlords/employer is low (13 per cent and
10 per cent respectively) for raising finance to meet productive as well as unproductive
needs. Keeping in view the greater prevalence of institutional sources of credit, more
branches of rural banks need to be opened in the district, so that more poor people could
avail such facilities and their exploitation in the hands of money lenders and sahukars
could thus be minimized.

                            Table 3.20: Sources of Debt in %

    Source                              Hindu    Muslim   Christian     Sikh    Total
    Government                          14.85      0.00       0.00     10.66   11.59
    Commercial Bank                      2.32      0.00       0.00      5.88    4.71
    Gramin Bank                          3.72      0.00       0.00     15.69   11.87
    Co-op Bank/Societies                30.07      0.00       0.00     36.74   33.90
    Provident fund                       0.11      0.00       0.00      0.00    0.03
    Insurance                            0.46      0.00       0.00      0.00    0.13
    SHG/NGO                              0.00      0.00       0.00      0.16    0.11
    Professional money lender            4.46      0.00       0.00      0.37    1.53
    Money lender                         0.11      0.00       0.00      2.82    1.96
    Landlords/Employer                   4.53      5.49       0.00     13.10   10.36
    Friends/Relatives                   18.96     92.14    100.00       6.78   12.58
    Others                              20.40      2.38       0.00      7.79   11.21

Use of Loans

Loans have been raised by the sample households for varied purposes. Capital
expenditure in farm business is the most dominant reason (38.63 per cent), followed by
purchase of land/house (11.70 per cent), and marriage and other social ceremonies (11


                                           32
 per cent). Nearly 41 percent and 37 per cent of the Sikh and Hindu households
 respectively, are in debt to meet capital expenditure on farm business. Muslim and
 Christian households are in debt to the tune of 98 per cent and 93 per cent, respectively,
 to meet expenses on marriage and social ceremonies, which could be minimized by
 increasing social awareness among the communities (see table 3.20). The raising of loans
 for productive purposes such as capital expenditure in non-farm business by one-tenth of
 Hindu and Sikh households is very encouraging and more and more credit facilities
 through institutional mechanisms need to be provided to improve rural livelihood
 opportunities.

                              Table 3.20: Purpose of Loans in %
Purpose                                      Hindu     Muslim     Christian   Sikh      Total
Capital expenditure in farm business           36.92     0.00         0.00      40.77    38.63
Capital expenditure in non farm business        4.77     0.00         0.00       5.89     5.42
Purchase of land/house                         13.38     0.00         0.00      11.43    11.70
Renovation of house                             7.94     0.00         0.00       7.19     7.22
Marriage and other social ceremonies           17.47    97.83        92.78       5.17    10.96
Festivals                                       0.00     0.00         0.00       0.38     0.26
For education                                   0.00     0.00         0.00       0.00     0.00
Medical treatment                               7.95     2.17         7.22       2.18     3.92
Repayment of Old debt                           4.06     0.00         0.00       4.56     4.30
Other household expenditure                     0.11     0.00         0.00      13.15     9.09
Purchase of consumer durables                   0.00     0.00         0.00       0.38     0.26
Purchase of animal                              5.60     0.00         0.00       3.05     3.70
Financial investment                            1.36     0.00         0.00       3.56     2.84
Other                                           0.44     0.00         0.00       2.29     1.70
Total                                         100.00   100.00       100.00    100.00    100.00


 The incidence of indebtedness in sample households is largely due to low income levels,
 which are inadequate to meet their consumption and other social needs. Thus, there is
 need to improve the income levels of rural households. Moreover, banks and financial
 institutions can play a major role by providing credit at cheaper rates without any
 collateral for undertaking productive self-employment to the rural poor. In this
 connection, the government sponsored micro credit scheme under SGSY needs to
 be promoted more widely, so that poor villagers may invest in farm and non-farm
 activities including dairy development to increase their income. This would go a
 long way in mitigating poverty and empowering them, both economically and
 socially.

                                             33
                                      CHAPTER IV

        DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES/DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES

Public Distribution System

One-third of the sample population is living below the poverty line (BPL). However, one-
fourth of sample households had BPL ration cards and 37.74 per cent are availing PDS
facility (see table 4.1). This implies that some of the non-BPL HH have BPL cards and
some of the non-BPL card holders are also getting BPL rations. It is significant to note
that all the Christian households belong to BPL category, have BPL cards and are getting
BPL rations also. Besides, 41 per cent of Hindu households are BPL HHs, 35 per cent of
them have BPL cards, and 43 percent of them are getting BPL rations. It is the same with
other households with minor modifications. Thus, some of the poor households belonging
to the BPL category do not have BPL cards, and even those who have BPL cards, not all
of them are getting BPL rations.

                              Table 4.1: PDS Coverage in %

                                       Hindu Muslim Christian          Sikh    Total
             BPL HHs                    40.72  19.85     3.25         29.41    33.26
             BPL HH getting ration      43.16  18.44   89.90          33.84    37.74
             Having BPL card            34.94   6.79     3.37         18.10    24.15


Nearly three-fourths of the sample population have complained about the non-availability
of time, followed by insufficient quantity (60.34 per cent), irregular supply (56 per cent),
dishonesty in measurement (46 per cent), and bad quality (22.30 per cent). Significant
differentials have been noticed in problems faced by rural households in availing the PDS
facility. For example, a majority of them have complained of non-availability of time and
irregular supply as the main problems in availing the PDS (see table 4.2).




                                            34
                    Table 4.2 : Problems being faced with the PDS in %

                                         Hindu     Muslim     Christian   Sikh     Total
    Problems
   Insufficient quantity                   59.04      4.43      100.00     59.33    60.32
   Bad quality                             31.20      4.43        0.00     16.78    22.30
   Dishonesty in measurement               57.84      0.00        0.00     39.78    46.00
   Non Availability of time                66.15     95.57      100.00     87.28    78.76
   Irregular supply                        46.28     95.57      100.00     60.92    56.11
   Others                                   1.98      0.00        0.00      0.65     1.19
   Total                                  100.00    100.00      100.00    100.00   100.00
Note: Based on multiple responses

The huge difference in falling under BPL category and holding BPL ration card and
availing benefits from PDS is a matter of very serious concern and the gaps need to be
plugged at earliest, so that the poor must get their due share, which could also supplement
households’ nutrition. There is also need to rejuvenate the PDS to improve its working
and performance as well as coverage and make it corruption free.

Access, Use and Quality of Public Health Service

The district lacks basic public health infrastructure. There is a lack of adequate health
care facilities for the rural poor which is due to the heavy pressure of population on these
basic services. The situation with availability of medicines, though it has marginally
improved during the last few years, is similiar. The availability of doctors specifically
lady doctors at PHCs / hospitals is a major concern for the rural population. At the same
time, the presence of quacks in villages has an adverse impact on the overall healthcare
and behaviour of the people, as they incur heavy expenditure on their health care without
proper care. This needs to be corrected through awareness campaigns which educate rural
poor people about their health care and the government schemes and programmes which
they can avail.

Education

Like public health services, the availability and accessibility of educational institutions is
hampering educational development and attainments. The conditions of schools is far
from satisfactory in terms of average number of rooms per school, toilet facility, drinking
water, punctuality of teachers, books and above all the teacher-pupil ratio. The mid-day



                                             35
meal is also in operation in all government schools, although its quality and regularity is
not assured. It is ironical to note that just to avail of more assistance under the mid-day
scheme, multiple enrolments have been reported in many schools, which should be
checked and strictly monitored.

A high proportion of children enrolled in government schools belong to relatively poor
households. The better-off households are sending their children to English medium
private schools. This kind of dualism has marginalized the government aided schooling
system. There is hardly any voice raised for improving the quality and accountability of
elementary education, since better–off households tend to remain indifferent since they
are hardly affected by such education.

For quality teaching, there is a need to strengthen the training of teachers in new teaching
and learning methods and pedagogy. Efforts also need to be made to promote extra
curricular activities in schools to make the learning process attractive for children.

Awareness

The level of awareness about various government programmes operational in the rural
areas of the district is given in table 4.3. ICDS, old age or widow pension are two
schemes, which are known to nearly 96 percent and 94 percent of the households
respectively. Nearly 80 percent and 66 percent of the households are aware of IAY and
NREGA. However, awareness regarding the schemes of SGSY and maternity benefit
scheme is significantly low. Thus, there is need to propagate and increase awareness
about the lesser known schemes, so that the rural poor can avail of those services.

             Table 4.3 : Level of Awareness of Government Programmes in %
                                         Hindu    Muslim   Christian   Sikh   Total
              SGSY                        17.7       0.3       83.4    18.6    18.7
              NREGA                       59.6      42.9       87.0    70.9    66.3
              Indira Awas Yojana          77.9      74.1      100.0    81.4    80.2
              TSC Swajaldhara             24.7       1.4         3.2   25.2    24.4
              ARWSP (Drinking Water)      33.6      19.6       41.7    41.6    38.2
              Sarvasikhsa                 62.2      69.1       96.4    59.3    60.9
              ICDS or Anganwadi           95.9      92.7      100.0    95.8    95.8
              Old Age or Widow Pension    94.7      92.3      100.0    93.3    93.9
              Maternity Benefit scheme    21.1       8.3         3.2   18.6    19.2




                                             36
Aspirations
The need for providing employment opportunities and education facilities ranks at the top
of the items of aspirations relating to development. Housing facility is the third important
development priority, followed by health. Irrigation is also aspired to as development
need by the households. However, different communities have ranked development
priorities differently, except for employment and irrigation (see table 4.4).

                     Table 4.4: Aspirations of Respondents in Order of Their Ranks
     Facilities            Hindu            Muslims        Christian         Sikh                   All
                         %     Rank        %      Rank    %       Rank   %       Rank       %         Rank
 Employment             49.23         1   51.00      1    6.49       1   46.04          1   46.76            1
 Educational                                         2               3
 facilities             45.15         2   19.66           0.00           22.30          2   29.98            2
 Housing                19.25         3    0.72     4     3.25      2     8.77          4   12.23            3
 Health facilities      10.72         4    3.24     3     0.00      4    12.53          3   11.58            4
 Irrigation              4.59         5    0.42     5     0.00      5     6.53          5    5.66            5

The rural population of the district has participated in state assembly and parliamentary
elections, which reflects a very high level of political participation on their part.
However, an insignificant proportion of them are members of self help groups (SHG). All
the households’           are members of religious organizations. Thus, the level of social
participation is also very high, which may be attributed to the high penetration of
religious organizations and the presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in
the rural areas of the district.




                                                     37
                                     CHAPTER V

                   KEY FINDINGS AND POLICY ISSUES


•   The total population of Sirsa district was 11, 16,649 of which 73.6 per cent live in
    rural areas. The scheduled castes (SCs) constitute 26.65 per cent of the population.


•   In the survey, Sikhs are the dominant population group (59.50 per cent), followed
    by Hindus (37.88 per cent). The Muslim and Christian population is negligible.
    The average household size is 5.39 persons, lowest for Sikhs (5.33) and highest
    for Christians (6.70). The overall dependency is reportedly high (1.44), which is
    comparatively highest among Sikhs (1.52) and lowest among Christians (0.85).

•   The average sex ratio is very low at 824, which is comparatively high for
    Muslims (1027) and very low for Christians (603). The high sex ratio in Muslims
    reflects a comparatively better female status in the community, which may be
    attributed to better educational status and womens’ empowerment in the
    community, when compared to Christians, Sikhs and Hindus.

•   Nearly 30 percent of the population is in the child age group of 0-14 years. This is
    more or less the same in the Sikh community. Other communities have a high
    concentration in the 0-14 years: Muslims (40 per cent), Christians (36.54 per cent)
    and Hindus (32.67 per cent). Therefore, educational needs of the other
    communities are higher Gender inequity in the        child sex ratio is sharp across the
    communities.

•   One-fifth of the population is in the age group of 15-24 years. Christian females
    have a high (30.43 per cent) representation in this youthful age group, compared
    to the low representation of males (10.34 per cent). This implies that other
    communities supplied more male labour force and likely unemployment is more
    in these communities, given the higher incidence of general unemployment and
    the current slowdown in the economy.




                                           38
•   Nearly 10 percent of the population is in the age group of more than 60 years.
    Gender inequity is small in this age group, except for Muslims. More Muslim
    men survive beyond 60 years and none of the women in the sample households
    survived beyond 60 years.

•   The literacy levels of persons aged 7 years and above is higher among males than
    females across all the religious groups. Gender differentials in literacy are
    noticeable. Nearly 71 per cent of the children are enrolled in government-run
    educational institutions. The proportion of children who have never enrolled is low
    (one-tenth), which is a cause of concern. The drop out is very low, which provides
    a little relief, but still needs to be checked.

•   In the rural areas of Sirsa district, 16 percent of the population is educated, with
    educational levels of high school and above. The proportion of males and females with
    educational levels of high school and above is respectively 18.25 and 13.19. Male and
    female population with technical education (both degree and diploma) is just 1.40 per
    cent and 1.54 per cent respectively. The educational attainments of Sikhs is
    comparatively better than that of other communities. Disparities in educational
    attainments are noticeable across communities and genders.

•   The average per capita expenditure on education is low (Rs. 812), although minor
    differentials exist among communities. Nearly 40 percent of the students in the age group
    of 5-16 years are getting assistance in the form of books. Midday meals are being
    provided to about 46.45 per cent of the students. Educational assistance in the form of
    dress and scholarships are being provided to a very small proportion of the students.

•   More than one-half of the sample households are landless. Landlessness is more among
    the Muslims (78.80 per cent) and Buddhists (59.10 per cent), as compared to Hindus
    (19.24 per cent). Ironically, landlessness is more among the Muslims (cent per cent) and
    Christians (96.95 per cent) compared to Sikhs (42.94 per cent) and Hindus (73.39 per
    cent). The average size of landholdings is comparatively more in Sikh households than
    Hindu and Christian households. Thus, landlessness and the small size of landholdings
    possessed by sample households not only reduces their livelihood options, but also makes




                                            39
    them vulnerable to working on low wage levels, which traps the landless households into
    poverty.


•   The per capita value of livestock owned by the sample households stood at Rs. 28631,
    which is comparatively very low in the case of Christians (Rs. 3216) than Muslims (Rs.
    20081), Hindus (Rs. 19205) and Sikhs (Rs. 35315). On the whole, the quality of livestock
    possessed by Christian households also seems to be poor, given the lower value of the
    livestock.


•   The work participation is reportedly modest (37.61 per cent), which is low among
    Christian households (2.47 per cent) and high among Muslim households (44.58
    per cent). Gender differentials in work participation are noticeable (53.22 per cent
    for males and 18.66 per cent for females). This is more or less true across the
    religious groups, except Christian households, wherein gender inequity in work
    participation is very sharp.

•   Self-employment in agriculture and allied activities is the dominant occupation
    (52 per cent of households) followed by casual labour in non-agriculture (18 per
    cent of households) and casual labour in agriculture (16.21 per cent of
    households). However, there are significant variations in occupational status of
    the sample households across the religious groups and genders. Significantly,
    more women are self-employed in agriculture and allied activities across
    communities. None of the Christian women are engaged in casual work in
    agriculture and non-agriculture. However, one-fourth of them are regular salaried
    workers. In the case of Muslim women, none of them are regular salaried
    workers. A small proportion of households are self-employed in non-agricultural
    pursuits for deriving livelihoods, except for Christians. Overall, the high
    dependence on self-employment in agriculture and allied activities, casual wage
    labour in agriculture and non-agriculture reflects the poor economic conditions of
    these households.

•   Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the dominant activities wherein 68.51 per
    cent of the households’ members are engaged. About 17.39 percent of them are


                                          40
    engaged in construction related activities. A very small proportion of the
    households are engaged in manufacturing, trade, hotel and restaurants, mining and
    quarrying, transport and communication, finance, real estate and business, public
    administration, education, health and other sectors.

•   There have been significant gaps in income and expenditure. However, the gaps in
    income and expenditure in Sikh households is more than in other households. Higher
    income is reported in those households which have more physical and human capital.
    Significant differentials are noticed in income-expenditure across the communities. On
    the whole, a high proportion of poor households are deriving their livelihood on a day to
    day basis by working as self-employed in agriculture and allied activities and as casual
    labour in the agriculture sector and therefore live a hand-to-mouth existence.

•   Nearly 2.69 per cent and 7.49 per cent of the households are living in thatched and kacha
    houses respectively, while 28 per cent and 62 per cent of them are living in semi-pucca
    and pucca houses, respectively. In general, the housing conditions of Christian, Hindu
    and Muslim households are not satisfactory, which reflects the poor economic conditions
    of these households. Nearly 14 percent of the sample households are living in single
    room accommodation. A significant proportion, 29.68 per cent and 56.06 per cent of
    them respectively, have two rooms and more than two rooms accommodation, which
    ensures privacy.


•   Nearly 80 per cent of the households use drinking water from private sources, while 20
    per cent of the households are depending upon private sources. A majority of the
    households (86 per cent) have toilets in the house.. Nearly 14 per cent of households are
    defecating in the open, which is totally unhygienic. More than one-fifths each of Hindu
    and Muslim households and one-tenth of Sikh households are defecating outside the
    home in the open. The condition of the drainage is also reportedly very unsatisfactory in
    Hindu and Sikh households.


•   Two-thirds of the last children born in the sample households was at home.
    However, there are significant variations across the communities. For example, a
    high proportion of children of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim households were born at
    home, as compared to 25 per cent, 44 per cent and 27 per cent of the births in



                                           41
    government and private hospitals, respectively. No child of Christian households
    was born in institutional care. Thus, the system of institutional deliveries is very
    poor. The dependence on untrained dais in child delivery assistance is high (63.38
    per cent), which is more in Hindu (70 per cent) and Muslim households (59.26 per
    cent) than Muslim and Christian households. Nearly 9 per cent of the delivery of
    children is performed by trained midwife/ASHA, comparatively more in Christian
    households than other households. Those of the children born in institutional care
    have also received pre and post natal care, although the proportion of such
    children is comparatively low.

•   Immunization of children against Polio, DPT and BCG show encouraging results.
    Almost all children have been given Polio drops. Similarly, almost all children below
    the age of 5 years have been vaccinated against at least one type of disease.
    However, the proportion of children fully immunized is comparatively quite low
    (39.70 per cent).

•   Fever, pain in the stomach, chicken pox, cough and cold, and typhoid are the most
    common health problems faced by the sample households. Nearly 18 per cent and
    8 per cent of the sample households respectively, suffered from fever and stomach
    ache. Similarly, 7.22 per cent, 6.66 percent and 4.65 per cent of them have
    suffered from typhoid, arthritis, malaria and cough and cold respectively. On
    average, Rs. 776 has been incurred per household on meeting health related
    expenditures, comparatively more by Sikh and Hindu households (Rs. 953 and
    Rs. 524 respectively) than Muslim (Rs. 222) and Christian households (Rs. 47).

•   The dependence on private sources for medical treatment is significantly high
    (72.16 per cent) as compared to government hospitals (16.8 per cent). Nearly 4
    per cent of the households are in debt to meet medical expenditures, with the
    proportion of Hindu and Christian households raising debts to meet heath
    treatment expenditure is about 8 and 7. This is attributed to the fact that medical
    services available at government hospitals are inadequate and poor in quality,
    which compels them to rely on private sources of medical treatment.



                                         42
•   Nearly one-fourth of the sample households are indebted. 45 per cent of Christian
    households, followed by 27 per cent of Sikh, 20 per cent of Hindu and 13 per cent
    of Muslim households are in debt. The average amount of loans raised is low (Rs.
    19438). Sikh and Christian households are more indebted (Rs. 24130 and Rs.
    22467 respectively) than Hindu (Rs. 12495) and Muslim (Rs. 6790). Institutional
    sources of finance are dominating the rural areas of the district. Capital
    expenditure in the farm business is the most dominant reason (38.63 per cent),
    followed by purchase of land/house (11.70 per cent), and marriage and other
    social ceremonies (11 per cent). Nearly 41 percent and 37 per cent of the Sikh and
    Hindu households respectively are in debt to meet capital expenditure on farm
    business. Muslim and Christian households are in debt to the tune of 98 per cent
    and 93 per cent respectively to meet expenses on marriage and social ceremonies,
    which could be minimized by increasing social awareness among the
    communities.

•   One-third of the sample population is living below the poverty line (BPL),
    however, one-fourth of sample households had BPL ration cards and 37.74 per
    cent are availing PDS facility. This implies that some of the non-BPL HH have
    BPL cards and some of the non-BPL card holders are also getting BPL rations.

•   Nearly three-fourth of the sample population has complained about non-
    availability of time followed by insufficient quantity (60.34 per cent), irregular
    supply (56 per cent), dishonesty in measurement (46 per cent), and bad quality
    (22.30 per cent). Significant differentials have been noticed in problems faced by
    rural households in availing the PDS facility.

•   ICDS, old age or widow pension are the two schemes, which are known to nearly
    96 percent and 94 percent of the households respectively. Nearly 80 percent and
    66 percent of the households are aware of IAY and NREGA. However, the
    awareness regarding the schemes of SGSY and maternity benefit schemes are
    significantly low.



                                        43
   •   The provisioning of employment opportunities and education facilities ranks at the top in
       the items of aspirations relating to development. Housing facility is the third important
       development priority followed by health. Irrigation is also aspired to as a development
       need by the households. However, different communities have ranked development
       priorities differently, except for employment and irrigation.


   •   The rural population of the district has participated in state assembly and
       parliamentary elections, which reflect very high levels of political participation on
       their part. However, a very insignificant proportion of them is member of self
       help groups (SHG). All the households’ members are member of religious
       organizations. Thus, the level of social participation is also very high, which may
       be attributed to high penetration of religious organizations and the presence of
       non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the rural areas of the district.

Policy Issues

   •   High concentration of population in the child and youthful age groups, calls for
       rigorous educational and manpower planning and opening of more technical and
       vocational institutions. The creation of more self-employment opportunities in the
       agro and horticulture-based sector, as well as tourism would help the people,
       given the stagnant public sector and shrinking private industrial sector due to
       recession.

   •   Educational attainment, particularly among youth and among females, is modest and
       needs improvement. Poor educational attainment hampers their future labour market
       prospects. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase the participation of the youth, in
       higher and technical education. This would also require imparting short duration job
       oriented courses in technical institutions to the rural youth, besides providing free-ships
       and scholarships to needy youth from disadvantaged groups and minorities.


   •   Gender differentials in literacy is noticeable in both communities. This needs
       attention by educational planners and decision-makers, besides making the
       community aware of the advantages of female education.



                                               44
•   SSA is making its presence in the rural areas of the district though at a slower pace,
    which is evident from the fact that a significant proportion of the children are still
    enrolled in private schools. This may also reflect the relatively better socio-economic
    conditions of the households, which enable them to send their children to private schools
    for education. However, the target of ‘education for all’ is still a distant dream. There is
    need to speed up the efforts of government in ensuring cent per cent enrollment of
    children in school going age group with zero drop outs, which would be possible through
    improving the quality of education, besides expanding the school infrastructure. Thus, the
    gap in the process of human capital formation in the case of both communities as well as
    genders, needs to be bridged on priority by following community as well as gender
    sensitive educational programmes and schemes.


•   The main reasons cited for drop out are ‘not interested in reading’ and ‘work at
    home’. Thus, there is need to make the parents aware about the benefits of education
    and the educational system needs to be improved to make it more interesting for the
    children. Livelihood opportunities need to be provided to the rural poor, to eliminate the
    incidence of child labour.

•   Educational attainment is lower in both the communities and gender at various levels,
    which needs to be improved. More scholarships may be given to poor but deserving
    students from rural areas. Concrete steps also need to be taken to increase the enrollment
    of the population beyond high school in general, and technical institutes, in particular.

•   In order to increase enrolment and retention of students, there is need to enhance the
    quantum of educational assistance in the district. The poor and deserving students must
    be provided with scholarships and dress assistance. There is need to operationalised free
    elementary education among the rural poor of the district to ease the economic burden on
    the parents.


•   The increased possession of livestock by rural households provides them with draught
    power as well as milch animals, meat and other products depending upon the types of
    livestock owned and maintained. Thus, in order to improve their livelihood conditions,
    including nutritional standards, livestock and dairy development programmes need to be
    strengthened.



                                            45
•   Low female work participation is a serious issue, which calls for appropriate
    policy interventions to raise their contribution in economic activities, so that they
    are empowered to play their role within and outside the family in an effective
    way.

•   The government scheme of NREGA needs to be implemented in a big way so that
    these poor households may have an opportunity to get assured employment of 100
    man-days per household per annum. Besides, the self-employment scheme of
    SGSY needs to be implemented more in the district, so that the poor households
    may earn a sustainable living. Besides it may also empower them socially and
    politically, as the programme is being operationalised through SHGs.

•   Given the seasonal nature of employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing,
    there is need to implement more self-employment schemes like SGSY for the
    rural poor so that they could be employed on a sustainable basis which would not
    only generate employment and supplement family earnings but would go a long
    way in empowering the women to play their part within the family and society.

•   The low proportion of workers engaged in modern sector of employment is
    mainly due to lack of infrastructure for industrial development. A large proportion
    of the population of the district is deriving their livelihood from agriculture and
    allied activities, which is responsible for their poverty and deprivation. There is
    lack of required trained and skilled manpower in the district, which needs to be
    attended to on a priority by opening more industrial training institutes and other
    technical institutes, which would facilitate local trained and skilled manpower in
    getting employment in theindustrial sector.
•   Unemployment and underemployment is quite alarming among the communities. As the
    search for additional employment for augmenting households’ income and status is very
    high, the lack of training and skills make their employability comparatively low. Thus,
    their skill needs to be improved through short term vocational and job-oriented courses.

•   The economic situation of the households can be improved by provisioning better basic
    health and educational facilities by the government. This would reduce their dependence



                                           46
    on private services, which took away a part of their income that could be utilized for
    meeting other basic needs of the households.

•   The dependence on private sources of drinking water by the rural poor households needs
    to be rectified. The government should provide tap water facilities for which necessary
    allocations must be made on a priority basis.

•   The practice of defecating in the open, though on a lower scale, needs to be checked by
    providing in-house toilet assistance by the government. This would help to improve
    sanitary and environmental conditions in the villages.

•   The system of institutional deliveries is presenting an encouraging picture of rural
    reproductive and child health care system in the district, which needs to be
    strengthen further to ensure cent per cent institutional birth and child care.

•   There is need to strengthen the National Rural Health Mission so that it may be
    able to meet the health needs of the poor rural households and curtail their
    dependency on private sources, which are both costly in nature and most of the
    time are beyond the reach of the poor households, forcing them into debt. Thus,
    more allocations should be made for NRHM on priority to extend the outreach and
    coverage of the programme.

•   Banks and financial institutions can play a major role by providing credit at cheaper rates
    without any collateral for undertaking productive self-employment. In this connection,
    the government sponsored micro credit scheme under SGSY needs to be
    promoted. This would enable poor villagers to invest in farm and non-farm
    activities, including dairy development, to increase their income, which would
    also go a long way in mitigating poverty and empowering them both
    economically and socially.

•   The huge difference in falling under BPL category and holding BPL ration card
    and availing benefits from PDS is a matter of very serious concern. The gaps need
    to be plugged at the earliest, so that the poor get their due share, which could also
    supplement the households’ nutrition. There is a need to rejuvenate the PDS to
    improve its working and performance.




                                           47
  List of Sample Selected Villages in Sirsa District

     Block                 GP                   Vill
Sirsa              Bhangu               Bhangu
Sirsa              Sirsa                Mdho Singhana
Sirsa              Barwali _I           Barvali _I
Sirsa              Madho Singhana       Madho Singhana
Sirsa              Shahpur Begu         Shahpur Begu
Sirsa              Mangala              Mangala
Sirsa              Takhtmal             Takhtmal
Sirsa              Nez-dela-kalan       Nez-Dela-Kalan
Ellenabad          Himaju Khera         Himaju Khera
Ellenabad          Ellanabad            Amritsar Kalan
Ellenabad          Mirzapur             Mirazapur
Ellenabad          Poharaka             Poharaka
Odhan              Naurang              Naurang
Odhan              Kewal                Kewal
Odhan              Rohiran wali         Rohiran Wali
Dabvali            Ahmadapur Darewala   Ahmadpur Darewala
Dabvali            Hebuana              Hebuana
Dabvali            Panniwala Moreka     Panniwala Moreka
Odhan              Odhan                Odhan
Dabwali            Khuiyan Malkana      Khuiyan Malkana
Sirsa              Rania                Maujdin
Rania              Nathoor              Nathoor
Rania              Harni khurd          Harni Khurd
Rania              Sri Jiwan Nagar      Jiwan Nagar
Rania              Kariwala             Kari Wala
Rania              Sade Wala            Sade Wala
Bada Gudha         Thirij               Thiri
Bada Gudha         Gharoor Rohi         Jharoor Rohi
Nathusari Chopta   Mochi Wali           Mochi Wali
Chopta             Ding




                          48

				
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